New HOTM's - *Would other OP heroes for the year change your mind?* Poll regarding game state in the description

I’m going to carve out my own little option to vote for…

It is a mix between “Create new heroes with new specials but keep the power ceiling where it is” and that SGG devise 3 really OP heroes as candidates for Heroes of the Year. I say candidates because then the community gets to vote on which one they want released into the game or the option to add none of them. If add none wins then none are added otherwise the 2 most popular heroes are added at a high pull chance HOWEVER the twist is that if one of the winning heroes your account will be unable to get that specific hero, only the other one released.

Yes it seems vindictive but too many greedy players base their feedback assuming they’ll get X hero instead of thinking of the good of game balance, in this scenario where they will be explicitly prevented from getting a hero they vote for I’d like to see how their voting changes. I suspect the None option would win…

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it sounds super convoluted and I have no idea what you’re talking about.

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Only cause I think this topic is still relevant. mods please feel free to close this if you disagree

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It is absolutely relevant now, but the poll is closed!

Anyone have cliff notes for the rest of the discussion so that I can have some idea of what we’re supposed to be discussing? Are we discussing balance of the heroes that have already been released? Or how we think the new upcoming heroes should be balanced before release to prevent future drama? Or something else entirely?

@Natural-Lite your thread, yes? Please (re)set the current tone and topic of discussion. :slightly_smiling_face:

TLDR of the topic was basically if releasing heroes or greater and greater strength for each HOTM would change peoples mind about balancing heroes. (at the time it was the original JF and Telluria).

There was great discussion generated about what things would look like but I think the poll is where I was hoping to see some response.

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In that case… (I can’t remember if I voted in the original poll or not)…

I think releasing greater and greater strength heroes is a very bad idea.

That’s not to say that I think all the new heroes should be neutered. I think HotMs should all have unique special abilities that make them desirable to have, but not completely game breaking.

And I actually kind of like the idea of say… they release a hero in March that does something crazy and the players freak out about it… then the April HotM has a special skill that directly counters whatever the March hero did…

As long as neither one of them individually are 10x more powerful than any other hero in the game.

That way, people will still have an incentive to try to pull for the next hero, while also making sure there are plenty of available hero options to counter each hero (including amongst the purely vanilla heroes).

IMO heroes should be balanced before being released, whenever possible. That way we avoid potential future fiascos.

Some might say “easier said than done”… but I don’t think it’s that hard to look at a hero’s stats before release and say “um… that looks a little tiny bit overpowered, don’t ya think?” It’s really not rocket surgery. LOL

TLDR: Rotate old and newer heroes with buffs and nerfs to influence the meta and make people think more about a game that seems to be lacking strategy in its current state. @DaveCozy (i remember you commenting on this thread months ago but now I wonder if your opinion has changed) (i seem to misremember a lot) I appreciate your opinion on things like this as you seem to have good context around what is possible with games like these. @ anyone else you think might also want to weigh in (again)

Kinda a Rant

So I think I compared this to League of Legends already in this or a different thread but I think that there should be more rounds of buffs and nerfs. I also wish I knew how much work goes into buffing or nerfing a hero. Shaking up the meta is something that makes the game fun. I think that if older heroes took front stage of the meta for a little that it would reinvigorate the game and I think that if the meta was more flexible that it would keep the game rolling. [AGAIN I HAVE NO IDEA THE AMOUNT OF WORK IT TAKE TO BUFF AND NERF A HERO] but I do know that a lot of games have multiple patches weekly and this one i think would benefit from something like that. I think that seeing certain styles of hero teams and categorizing them like they do in something like MTG might also give more dimension to this game. Obviously im not advocating for direct rip offs but I think that a meta rotation would at least give people pause and may also lessen (ever so slightly) the people who complain about the whale accounts.

Er… I did? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

This reply is my first post in this topic :grin:

I will have to read this topic first to see what I can weigh in on :stuck_out_tongue:


then it was the synergies topic a presume but nevertheless thank you and i look forward to your reply.

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Oh I know what that’s about now.

Yeah I was way off-base then. Telluria + Vela turned out to be the best tank + flank combo in the game by far. It ended up being much better than the Guinevere + Gravemaker combo.

Past tense, turned because that isn’t true anymore IMO. Mostly because Vela is very mediocre now.

To answer the original question, no, I don’t believe that creating OP heroes to combat OP heroes is effective at all. This goes for any game. If that hero is so good that they overshadow the rest of the game, then you can’t possibly expect to balance the game around them.

Telluria herself wasn’t the only issue though. She was just the hero that exposed the flaws in Empires foundation. What I mean by that:

  • High stats + defender bonus + soft cap for tile damage. Her high stats alone aren’t the issue, it’s how they interact with the game that makes them an issue
  • Speed delay on all enemies + how charging mana works. Though this has been softened to reasonable levels, it’s still a very powerful attribute
  • Emblem bottlenecks – though again addressed (too late IMO, but better late than never), this was a huge issue for why she was so powerful as attackers were at a massive disadvantage (combined with the soft-cap for tile damage).

Really it’s all of the above that contributed to what resulted so far in several nerfs to just Telluria.

And that’s the reason why we’ve continued to see several nerfs – because they haven’t actually addressed the parts of her that combine with the game features that make her so good. At least, not until recently with the emblem bottleneck being expanded.

I can’t answer on whether we’ll see more nerfs to Telluria. I don’t know that, and even the devs don’t know that and are hoping not to do that per the most previous interaction with them. But honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more that come, because I still struggle to see anyone that is better at doing what she does in the tank spot.

To give another example: Akuma in Street Fighter II. That character is broken, because of his air projectile. The game engine just wasn’t designed to handle it – blocking it puts you in a stun animation and then he can proceed to do an unblockable setup on you. You simply are screwed whether you get hit or block it and its angle does not let you jump to avoid it.

Someone actually tried to balance him too in HD Remix. If you read the article, you’ll note that they addressed the character himself – tweaking the air fireball by making it weaker, and the other moves that allowed him to set up unblockables – but they missed a bug in the game code that only he could abuse. Thus, because the game mechanics themselves were not touched, he had to be banned again for tournament play.

Different genres, and of course you can’t just ban a character in E&P, but the lesson is the same. You can’t expect to balance something that is sitting on a foundation with cracks. You have to clean up those cracks first.

The only sign so far I’ve seen of the devs for E&P doing that is with the expanded emblem bottleneck. Baby steps at least, and I do actually see this as a change in thinking which is good.

I’ll also tag @Gryphonknight because he really has a lot of insight in this topic.


Ive been away i feel like for a long time (shame on me just needed a break) but what other suggestions to changing the foundation did you make?

In general, the lack of catchup mechanics is the biggest issue for me. That is also part of what shaped the perception of Telluria and other heroes before her being OP. Your troops, your hero levels with emblems, and your depth greatly affects how easy or how hard of a time you’ll have.

Latest e.g. of that being the Ninja Tower. Depending on your depth, a cursed hero would be no big deal. But for anyone with a shallow bench, the event is a sure struggle.

E&P has no catchup mechanics, other than spending money to get gems and get ahead. That creates a big divide even between F2P who have been playing 2 years vs those who have only been at it for 1 year.

Theoretically the advanced buildings would have been helpful as catchup mechanics, if it wasn’t for the fact that they take years to get to.

The game really needs some real catchup mechanics first IMO. That for me is the biggest issue by far. It’s hard to tell for me whether the other issues are a symptom of this lack.


I hate to sound ignorant but what does a catch up mechanic look like is it a scaling down of challenges to match a players level/current strength or is it allowing for newer players to have better odds when it comes to loot and hero pulls? maybe not that last one now that i think of it but…

No, it’s not necessarily making events easier or anything like that. It’s helping players get stronger quicker so that they may be able to enjoy more of the game.

Thread’s telling me to let someone else join in the discussion :stuck_out_tongue: So I am going to let @Gryphonknight give some e.g. (if he wishes) whenever he read through these comments. Honestly I think he can answer much, much better than me regarding catchup mechanics.


Thing I liked about Gwen - having joined late — Missed the tweaking

Is she’s an event hero … you knew what she was, how to get her, and such. She fills one role and it’s a slow natural progression … much like getting ele debuffers, first 5* team. Hell - I even looked forward to Avalon

She’s not some 30 day pixel prophet that shows up, then drops by Atlantis (Many are done with S2) than gets cast down in the Lottery pit — like Evelyn or Miki.

HotM should be good, occasionally great and even insane — but key event Heroes should be better and act as a baseline.

The Optional - but not really - key upgrades belong here.In events… (your Key Damage multipliers, Ele down, etc)

Telly dropped In like an asteroid — it’s like having a giant barricade show up overnight. There’s no reason to be that disruptive — then that stubborn.

In the time it takes to do three rounds of nerfs and balancing, you could have gotten to the same or better meta change through a series of changes

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Catch up

A game with balanced catchup mechanics would include a realistic way to get 5*+20 Telluria in 3x to 12x months.

Click for usual rant. Nothing forum users, volunteers and staff have not seen before reading the forum


In Niantic’s Pokémon GO ( still not great, see freemium business model. Making it worse, The Pokémon Company, Game Freaks and Nintendo control the Intellectual Property while Niantic controls the crowd sourced map and physical hardware so four times the investor headaches ) Niantic’s equivalent of Telluria was Pay 2 Play exclusive from mid summer to mid fall.

The P2P version only needed 4x 4* ascension items to level while the Free 2 Grind version needs 6x 4* ascension items to level.

Hard copy books

An author I liked had a discontinued PAPERBACK book with yellowing, damaged, copies selling for $200 USD on auction sites for years and years. The author warned readers the book was not their best work.

Eventually a tiny publishing house was convinced to run a high quality acid free, archival, hardback reprint, a new sequel book and an more inexpensive library binding omnibus containing both stories.

The author was right, the novel was not that good. But its rarity drove expectations and demand.

The sequel was also not their best work, because it was hindered by the mistakes made in the first book.

The author is one of the few I preorder hardback books, but the out of print book, and its sequel, were books I really wish I had borrowed from the library.

Play style

I have finally gotten some rare heroes in Pokémon GO only to find out my previous heroes had better synergy, color stacking and enjoyment for my play style.

Part of the problem with HotM is the rarity of 5* HotM, 4* ascension items and Hero XP.

Strangling creativity - both Player and Dev

But like emblem resets, without a mechanic for a wide range of play styles to experiment, a huge majority of players will use the most broken, easiest to understand, most popular with influencers ( sorry Anchor ) heroes instead of what they would actually enjoy playing ( looking at you Obakan ).

The YouTube videos of 5*+20 Telluria center heroes will continue to be recommended by the algorithm for years after Empires finally shuts down the servers because they will be the most watched, most liked, and most disliked video about Small Giant Games.


This is a very old post, with lots of errors, but Gryphonkit, my wife, still uses it as a go to team.

Primarily because 3 of the 5 heroes are cheap.


It took me $1,000+ USD and 2 years to get Cyprian due to Merciless RNG, cost of summons, and lack of any real catch up mechanic.

(ARCHIVE- How my wife broke Empires- not her first time breaking a game- or Purple and Yellow are weird when attacking, especially in raids)

One day I dream of Empires’ damage mechanic being discovered/ leaked/ reverse engineered, but like many of my childhood dreams, I have given up on it. Same with trade and shards.



Treating the symptoms

This is a very good point.

Click for original post, pretty boring From a marketing point of view, Telluria is worth a lot in micro transactions because 1x 5*+20 Telluria on a war defense team is sometimes worth 15x 5*+20 Gravemaker on a war attack team.

Humans are insanely good at resource, penalty and benefit analysis.

Because players knew this they spent heavily to get Telluria.


Pokémon GO had this problem with gym defense. Niantic changed it so every X time frame, the defense lost Y% on all stats.

In the past, SGG was relatively quick to make adjustments ( looking at you Athena/ Panther and you 4* Mystic Rings Boldtusk ) But these adjustments still took 3x to 6x months and were easier to balance before the abundance of new content.


Not sure if SGG, as a profit making business, can fix this problem. The basic problems with the mechanics have been known to the game design team for years but like balancing Classic 4* heroes ( looking at you blue and yellow ) was never a priority.


It would be interesting to find out how many players removed emblems from 5*+20 Telluria scared Telluria would get further nerfed and moved the emblems to safer Paladins.

It will be interesting to see how conservative new center defense team heroes are for the next 12x months.

Groundhog Day

Like Phil Connors character in the movie Groundhog Day, I have given variations on this speech on this forum, and other forums, for years.

You have to decide why you want to improve a game mechanic.

In this case, to make more money ( looking at you Tavern of Legends ) or to increase players enjoyment ( looking at you 4* ascension items added to rare quests ).

Click for latest post. Because. Business.

And like Phil Connors you have to hit rock bottom ( waves at Dominos Pizza ) before you decide you have nothing to lose and make substantial changes.


Rare Quests

Yes, Frostmarch used to give a 3* warm cape as maximum loot and Mount Umber gave a 3* hidden blade.

(Mai's Guide to Efficient Farming – List of best lvls to farm monster, different resources, wanted missions and XP)

Tavern of Legends

Hel / Gravemaker

(What is the price of Hel?)

“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”



You do pretty good.

“The first step to finding out why something does not work is to find out why it does work.”

(📑 Status Effects (Buffs and Ailments) and Stacks)

As a game modder/ RPG Game master, I just cannot resist “What if…?”

Click for sampler

4* ascension items and Hero XP

Not great, but an attempt at compromise

([Suggestion] 5* hero catch up mechanics or -50% Hero XP, -83% of 4* ascension items and emblems on 5* 2.01 heroes)

Duplicate heroes

Argh. This is not my greatest game design work. But I found it amusing at the time due to a private in joke only a dozen people on the planet will get ( waves to Phil, and Kaja, Foglio )

([Suggestion] Purple Easter Bunny, er, Purple dragon summons)


One of the advantages of trade is you can trade 5*+20 heroes instead of 5* 1.1 heroes ( see Niantic’s Pokémon GO or physical Collectable Card Games. )

But trade works best when supported by alternate mechanics so trade is not the only, or even best, option.

See shards ( 5* HotM and 4* ascension items ), retiring costumes 5*+20 Heroes / Level
30 4* troops, and mechanics for effectively using duplicate heroes like differentiating between multiple 4*+20 Grimm with different emblem paths.




Im replying so I can address you both. I assumed when i created this thread that the people most hurt by the release of newer heroes were those who have played the game longer (invested more [not always true]). After reading your posts it seems like the people who hurt the most are the new comers since they have now way to advance past a certain point with out extreme exertion.


Thanks for that akuma stuff pretty cool info, used to love playing street fighter down the arcade.


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